Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams: the 2013 NBA Draft's Top Point Guard
As a first-time starter, Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams has taken over and thrived handling the reigns of the Orange in 2012-13, emerging not just as a viable first-round prospect, but a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Even still, his game is a work in progress and scouts are tremendously enthused by the potential.
A plethora of talent, particularly in the backcourt, prevented Carter-Williams from playing significant minutes last season, but this season, the sophomore leads the way for the Top 10 Orange.
Carter-Williams possesses excellent size and length for his position- standing a lanky 6'6" with long arms and certainly room to add 20-25 pounds to his frame without seemingly affecting his game too much. But it's his court vision and natural playmaking instincts that really get scouts bubbling about his future. Carter-Williams sets up teammates with the utmost efficiency both in transition and in the halfcourt setting where he can sliver through the heart of the defense, kick it out to shooters or dump it down to an open big man for the finish at the rim. Carter-Williams ranks 4th in the country in assists percentage at 47.4, assisting on nearly half of his possessions used.
His quick first step on defense, at the top of Syracuse's zone, along with his size, create havoc for opposing guards, where Carter-Williams can swipe the ball and turn it into a bucket on the other end in just a matter of seconds. His 3.2 steals lead the Big East Conference, ranking 4th nationally.
And if his gaudy stats were not enough to speak of Carter-Williams' impact, his +21 plus-minus average, second-best in the entire country, should finish the story.
Now, if Carter-Williams could just finish some more plays himself on the offensive end. His shooting stats are well below par, hurting him to the point where defenses sag off of him on the perimeter, daring him to shoot instead of beating the defense off the dribble.